As your tenancy draws to a close and you prepare to move into your new place, feelings of anxiety begin to emerge about handing your rental property over to the agent for their outgoing inspection and concerns about funds being retained from your deposit.
But follow our cleaning guide and barring any obvious breakages or damage, getting your full bond back should be a breeze.
1. Clean the Kitchen Thoroughly
The kitchen is one of the most important areas to focus your attention on. This is an area of high wear and tear, and is exposed to high levels of grease, water and foods with potential to stain – your weekly kitchen blitz is not going to cut the mustard. This is also the room your landlord and agent are going to scrutinise the most.
First, you need to strip out all the cupboards and vacuum the whole kitchen. You need to clean and scrub all cupboards and drawers inside and out – and on top of the wall units as well. Pay attention to forgotten areas like the sides of the drawers and runners, door hinges and hardware, etc. All appliances, particularly the cooker and extraction hood, will need a deep clean to remove baked-on grease and food stains.
Take care not to be over-zealous with scouring pads and abrasive cleaning products on benchtops to avoid damage. If your splashbacks and/or floors are tiled, you may need to pay particular attention to the grouting, which can attract and hold dirt. There are a number of products on the market that freshen your grout.
Finally, don’t forget to dust and clean light fittings and ceiling fans – even a light film of cooking grease on these items makes them sticky dust magnets – and clean all walls, doors, architrave, and light switches.
2. Make Sure the Bathroom Is Clean
The next most important areas are bathrooms.
Leaving any water stains, dirty toilets, mineral deposits, discoloured grout, and mould is a surefire way to lose a chunk of your deposit. Clean top to bottom, starting with the ceiling and working your way down the walls. Again, empty and clean inside of the vanity. As with the kitchen, invest in a grout-cleaning product to ensure your tiled areas look fresh and clean. Make sure your shower screen is sparkling and streak-free. You can achieve this with baking soda and lemon juice with a scouring pad to remove any residue of soap and shampoo, then rinse, spray with a solution of cleaning vinegar and water, and wipe dry with kitchen paper. You can use this method on mirrors too. If your toilet cleans up well, that’s great – but if even bleach isn’t shifting stains, using a pumice stone gently to remove stubborn mineral deposits should do the trick. Finally, pay close attention to taps, overflow, and drains where mould tends to build and lurk. An old toothbrush is a great way of cleaning these tricky areas. Always dry polish taps and hardware with a clean dry cloth – leaving water on the surface will dry leaving a streaky finish that won’t look clean, even if it is.
3. Carpets and Wooden floors
Clean carpets are also essential to get your bond money back, as they accumulate all manner of food particles, red wine and coffee stains, pet hair, etc.
Vacuum thoroughly first to reveal any areas of concern. Soaking stains and gently pressing with dry cloths is the best way to remove stains. You should generally avoid scrubbing, which will destroy the pile and draw attention to the area. Check our previous blog on removing stains from carpets. If your initial efforts fail, you may need to hire some equipment to handle the task.
Wooden floors can be prone to scratching, so check for any areas that need repair, then clean with a mop and dry.
4. Walls and Windows
Clean walls enhance the beauty of a property, so you will need to clean them thoroughly. Walls tend to discolour behind furniture or pictures, and grime builds up easily in high-touch areas around light switches, doors, handrails, etc. Use a vacuum cleaner to make sure that the cornices and corners are dust and cobweb-free.
Windows and entry doors will also play an essential role in getting your bond back. Clean windows inside and out, using a brush or vacuum to remove dust and cobwebs – and don’t forget to clean fly screens as well.
5. Hire Professional Cleaners
If all this sounds too daunting, you can hire professional cleaners. Make sure they are experienced in end-of-tenancy cleaning, as they will have the appropriate experience, technical knowledge, and modern cleaning equipment, to provide high-quality cleaning in the least possible time.
A final note…
Aside from cleaning, here are a few other tips to give you the best chance of getting your security deposit back.
Take pictures before you move in – yes, you may have a handover walk round with the agent or landlord when you move in, but it’s a good idea to check the place thoroughly yourself, document any damage, with photographic evidence, and submit to your agent before you take possession of the property. If there are any disputes at the end of your tenancy, you may find this precaution proves to be essential. Always ask for permission before making any changes to the property and retain copies of approvals.